Local volunteer fire department asks community for help to save lives

There is not enough money in the West Point volunteer fire department's budget for a new ambulance.
There is not enough money in the West Point volunteer fire department's budget for a new ambulance.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) — Members of the West Point Volunteer Fire Department are sent out to help the public on a daily basis. But the tables have turned, and now they need your help.

From 2014 to 2015, West Point volunteer firefighters made 536 ambulance runs. Chief Gary Cheesman said they are a backup to Tippecanoe County’s ambulance service.

“Our ambulances have several thousand miles on [them], and we are looking to update them,” Cheesman said.

Because of constant traveling and wear and tear, it’s time for a new set of wheels. There is not enough money in the volunteer fire department’s budget for a new truck. With donations, they could buy and set up a new ambulance.

“The one that we’re standing in front of is a 2003. It has well over 250,000 miles. Our backup ambulance is a 1998, and it has over 120,000 miles on it,” Cheesman said.

The department is looking for a new ambulance or one that is slightly used.

The association was formed in 1961 with plans to provide emergency fire, rescue and medical services.

“Then we also help Tippecanoe County, throughout the whole county,” Cheesman said.

Their goal is to raise $175,000.

“That is pretty much basic,” Cheesman said. “It is a heavy-chassis diesel, and we’re looking for four-wheel drive since we are out in the rural.”

According to the firefighters’ GoFundMe page, they have raised more than $800, so far.